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Linear Bearings & Engineering Components

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TEA Transmissions - Australia
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Case Study: Hepco 1 Trak Tool Changer Application

Case Study: Hepco 1 Trak Tool Changer Application

Tool changing devices for CNC machines enable rapid transfer of tools in an out of the machine and are available in standard format with either a circular carousel or oval track the most common configurations.

However, when the customer wanted to develop a new CNC controlled Helitronic tool grinder they needed a product that could link 12 or 24 or 254mm diameter grinding discs and traverse them around a circuit without them clashing. In principle this did not sound too demanding until the space available to fit the tool changer into was revealed.

With no suitable solution evident, the customer turned to linear motion experts HepcoMotion to see if a standard PRT2 track system could fit into the limited space.

Initial investigations were promising but the aspect of preventing the discs clashing as they went around the curved sections of the track was proving challenging. The obvious option of just lengthening the track was not possible with the space available. There was also the requirement for the control system to be able to demand any wheel in the circuit and bring it to a predetermined position within a positional accuracy of 0.05mm.

A 1-Trak system machined from a single plate of a prorietary tool steel so that there was no assembly of track parts  would provide the basic base plate for the tool changer. The plate included the vee trach machined in, plus the cam profile for the carriage drive pins to follow. A separate drive wheel with slots to allow the pin movement was driven by a motor / helical bevel gearbox arrangement attached from the rear of the base plate.


1-Trak is a highly innovative track system product, which re-writes what is possible with linear and rotary motion. Advanced materials and technologies are used to produce systems to almost any two dimensional shape from one piece of material. 1-Trak will save on assembly time and enable 'curvi' linear applications previously seen as expensive to be achieved in an easy simple way, with one drive.

  • Any conceivable 2D shape can be achieved; multi dimensional curves and free-form curves are possible.
  • Track systems can be designed to your exact requirements.
  • Carriages can be gear driven around the track, negating the need for complicated drive systems.
  • System is made from one piece of material with no individual linear tracks and segments to assemble.
  • Where space is important 1- Trak enables tight track return curves to be achieved.
  • 1-Trak can incorporate a base for a machine, complete with drive and all fixing holes.
  • 3 bearing carriage technology allows play free operation throughout linear and rotary travel.
  • Load capacities are only limited by the maximum size of bearing at 150m

Please contact us for information regarding Hepco's innovative advanced 1 Trak System.